This morning, I was in a mood for groveling, a little bit. Frustrated by the lack of feedback, the dearth of phone calls, absence of interviews. So, I headed over to my doctoral department (since I'm still on the same campus, just a post-doc in another department). Knocked on the door of one ex-professor. He was prepping for a lecture, so we agreed to set up a time for coffee. Then, I headed over to the chair's office, you know, the one who ignored my fellowship application. I told you I was in the mood for groveling.
I asked when would be convenient for him, and didn't even roll my eyes when he suggested I come back a couple hours later. So, I did, a couple minutes before 10:30. He talked to me for 45 minutes! Gah! Bear in mind, that's about 38 minutes more than I've ever spoken to him before (all put together!). I may have finally broken through his defenses, presenting myself as one of his students, in need of his assistance. (You know, the Timid Scholar routine, as best I can play it).
In the end, I instilled in his mind that I am eager and willing to do just about whatever it takes to convince him to give me a class to teach next year. He was noncommittal, but at least he's thinking about it. And, he suggested perhaps he could make some calls on my behalf to departments where I've applied, saying (from experience) that sometimes a call to the committee or department chair to urge a second look at the CV can be the foot in the door that is needed to get an interview. He even followed up by calling one department (a T-T post which I had mentioned) that would actually be only about an hour flight from where we live, meaning actually, really, honestly commutable.
I had earlier sent a brief note to Dr. TassePlein just catching him up on what I'm doing, and mentioning in passing my travails with Dr. Icouldn't Careless at LVU. His response was nice. He was surprised though that I hadn't heard back from Temporary Post U in Beautiful Nowhere. He had mentioned last week that he had gotten a call from them. In the middle of typing my reply, my cell phone rang... HR at TPU. Look, now let's not blow this out of perspective. But, you know what, this is the first call I've gotten this year. No telephone interview. They're just going to fly me out there next week!
The HR guy suggested May 18. Nothing doing.
I'm giving a colloquium talk that day.
Okay... how about next week? Friday or Thursday?
Fine, fine, that'd work.
It's an interview. That's a big step. Of course Beautiful Nowhere will likely be a full-day's travel each way, making it the commute from hell. I'm not yet really sure if it's even workable. But, it's a one semester post, three classes. We'll see.
So, I have this fellowship proposal to finish and submit today. Um, yeah, today. I've got to work up my conference paper for this weekend. What's it 15 minutes? I can do that.
I'll have a teaching demo in Beautiful Nowhere next week. I don't know yet what they'll be wanting. I'll get word, once they've worked out my travel arrangements. That gives me incentive to write up this syllabus for my application to Tough Commute U. Then, of course, there's my colloquium talk, May 18. I wonder when I'll hear from Scotland about this June conference? What about Italy? Should I go to this International Society for Innovative Interdisciplinarity there in August? I'm not presenting. I didn't submit an abstract this year.
This morning, I was thinking I'd get through this month, then plan to take some time off of the grind, to get perspective, to let go. I need to remember what I need and what I want (different things!). That's the perspective I sometimes lose. Well, we'll see what comes of my interview. Meantime, um... I've got some work to do.